Questions tagged [environment]

Referring to the surrounding ecosystem of the planet Earth, its natural mechanisms and balances, and study of the effects of human interaction with it.

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17
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1answer
3k views

Can magnets be used to clean laundry?

According to the Magnetic Laundry site, magnets can be used instead of detergent to clean laundry! For a "scientific" explanation, their video states: These magnets work at an atomic level to ...
11
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1answer
549 views

Are a third of the proteins we consume dependent on synthetic fertilizer?

In July 1997, Vaclav Smil wrote an article in Scientific American on humankind's use of the Nitrogen Cycle (emphasis added): Synthetic fertilizers provide about 40 percent of all the nitrogen taken ...
5
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0answers
541 views

Did Finding Nemo encourage people to flush pet fish down the toilet?

A Smithsonian article about goldfish starts out with (emphasis added): The 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo popularized the misconception that all drains lead to the ocean, encouraging young fans to ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Does having one fewer child reduce my carbon footprint as much as 71+ people going vegan?

In July 2017, ScienceMag reported on a study: Eating no meat cuts an individual’s carbon footprint by 820 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year [...] by choosing to have one fewer child in ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Is food becoming less nutritious because of depletion of soil minerals and nutrients?

Over and over, I have heard and read claims that the soil growing much of the planet's crops is "depleted" and thus our foods do not have sufficient minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. Five ...
11
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2answers
2k views

In Miami, can you see fish from the ocean swim on the streets because of the sea level rise?

I was reading this article at theBlaze.com that talks about an interview Al Gore had with Chris Wallace (shown on Fox News on Sunday Jun 4, 2017). The article focuses on claims that Al Gore had made ...
6
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1answer
452 views

Has ExxonMobil sequestered over 40 percent of all captured CO2?

From ExxonMobil's website on carbon capture and storage (CCS): With a working interest in approximately one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity, ExxonMobil is a leader in one of the ...
27
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0answers
6k views

Is pollution the main cause of Notre Dame Cathedral's deterioration?

A 2017 Time article discussing the crumbling, wearing out, and water damage of France's Notre Dame Cathedral prior to the 2019 fire writes (emphasis added): Notre Dame, which looms over the capital ...
8
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1answer
730 views

Is there more forest in the Northern Hemisphere now than 100 years ago?

In April 19, 2019, there was a public debating event called "Happiness: Capitalism vs. Marxism" featuring Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and psychoanalytical philosopher Slavoj Žižek as the ...
50
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1answer
13k views

Does Germany produce more waste than the US?

According to the German Environment Agency, Germany produced 411 million tons of waste in 2016. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US produced about 260 million US tons (236 ...
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0answers
187 views

Claim that CO2 is less relevant because it is logarithmic [duplicate]

This video presents and claims that doubling the CO2 levels would only increase the global warming by 1%, whatever that means. Now it seems like the graph contains real data, so what is up with the ...
10
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1answer
739 views

Is Bhutan the only carbon neutral/negative country?

Twitter moments recently had a moment about Bhutan being the only carbon neutral country in the world: Why Bhutan Is All Alone in the Carbon-Neutral Nation Club and one tweet in the Twitter moments ...
27
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1answer
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Did fertilising the ocean with 100 tons of iron sulphate increase the salmon catch by over 100,000 tons?

In July 2012 American businessman Russ George, dumped 100 tonnes of iron in the ocean off British Columbia to encourage plankton growth and thus increase salmon stocks (link). It is now claimed that ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Does the US Federal Government want to cut down and burn trees on a property to protect an extinct frog?

Edward Poitevent made a claim on the Tucker Carlson show that the government wants to take his land in Louisiana without paying, cut down all trees and burn it in the name of protecting an extinct ...
5
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4answers
904 views

Does physics give a climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide of about 3°C?

A letter to the editor of the Economist from Professor Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research stated the following: The IPCC’s range on sensitivity is supported by, ...
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93 views

Does crop burning in Cambodia contribute to particulate levels in Bangkok?

Bangkok is currently coping with unhealthy levels of PM2.5 particulates. On the 26th of January, the Bangkok Post wrote an article with the following passage on a link with Cambodian crop burning: ...
14
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1answer
910 views

Does the Earth only have 60 years of harvests before the top soil is lost?

According to this 2014 Scientific American article by Chris Arsenault Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top ...
-4
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1answer
243 views

Does carbon dioxide pollute the atmosphere? [closed]

Following the explosive growth in the use of coal for industrial processes, in which the UK from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s was memorably darkened with soot, the public became aware of "pollution"...
53
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3answers
11k views

Is only 4% of original forest left in the US?

The 2009 video The Story of Stuff makes several rather incredible claims. For example: Where I live, in the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left. My gut feeling tells ...
4
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0answers
276 views

Do vegan diets have lower environmental impact? [duplicate]

The Guardian has a 2018 article, Avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on earth, which is commonly brought up by my vegan friends: Avoiding meat and dairy products ...
111
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3answers
25k views

Do 10 Asian and African rivers generate 90% of plastic trash in the ocean?

I found this image shared on Facebook [Warning: image contains a bleeding turtle.] with the following text: Your Straws Did NOT Do This [image of turtle with foreign body in nostril] ...
18
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2answers
985 views

Do “smart meters” bring about any significant savings?

UK television stations are showing multiple commercials such as this one which make claims about making significant savings if you get a smart meter (the linked ad claims fitting a smart meter would ...
18
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2answers
34k views

Do electric heaters with open heating elements “dry the air” or “burn up oxygen”?

There is a popular belief in Russia that electric heaters with an open nichrome heating element (red hot) "burn up oxygen" and "dry the air", unlike oil-filled ones. Is it true that a Joule heater ...
59
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4answers
14k views

Have we wiped out 60% of vertebrate populations since 1970?

According to The Guardian (reporting an analysis by WWF) humanity stands on the verge of an ecological catastrophe as: Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, ...
5
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1answer
357 views

Is the Taylor oil spill on the scale of Deepwater Horizon?

According to CNN, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked 176.4 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, and also according to CNN, they say According to the [the Department ...
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2answers
2k views

Insects as food: Is it feasible for humans to replace traditional “livestock” meat with insects?

I have heard of some benefits of insects as food, but are there any drawbacks? I've never heard of a human culture whose primary protein intake came exclusively from insects. Would someone ...
3
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1answer
356 views

Has regulated hunting never led to threatened or endangered wildlife populations?

Hunting advocates and various fish and game bureaus argue that hunting is an effective and needed means to control various species and manage wildlife. One such claim says that "hunting benefits all ...
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1answer
413 views

Is Plant-e an actual company stating a serious premise? [closed]

This is what I read beforehand and then I reached the company page. They state that plants produce energy. This happens when releasing stuff from the photosynthesis process, which is consumed by ...
11
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1answer
424 views

Do honeybees disrupt native pollinators in North America?

One of my colleagues at work is vegan, and I became curious about why vegans don't eat honey. After a search on the internet I found a website explaining why honey is not vegan. However what baffled ...
8
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0answers
409 views

How long do disposable plastic shopping bags take to break down

Recently in Australia some major supermarkets have begun phasing out disposable shopping bags. A lot of people are saying things like that the new reusable bags are worse than the disposable bags. ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Are drinking straws a minor source of ocean plastic pollution?

An opinion piece in Bloomberg: Plastic Straws Aren’t the Problem claims that drinking straws are a minor source of plastic pollution in oceans: Yet even if all those straws were suddenly washed ...
43
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1answer
8k views

Is “Earth Overshoot Day” a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Apparently, we are rapidly approaching Earth overshoot day and that day gets earlier every year. The Guardian explains: Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive ...
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0answers
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Do Starbucks' new lids use more plastic than the previous lids plus straws?

Have recently seen this claim circulating Facebook: The image goes to a post by a group called UnbiasedAmerica... but it looks like the original source article is the story Starbucks Bans Plastic ...
90
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2answers
35k views

Are cars in Arizona melting in the 2018 summer heat?

Facebook just posted to my timeline this picture claiming that cars in Arizona are melting in the heat. Is it true?
53
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9answers
7k views

Is public transport less fuel-efficient than cars?

Someone who is opposed towards energy saving and climate change (I did not realise they existed until I met him) has told me that public transport (buses, trains and so on) are less efficient than ...
137
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2answers
28k views

Do solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear-power plants?

From Slashdot: A new study by Environmental Progress warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat. The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Did the fallout from American nuclear tests kill hundreds of thousands of American civilians?

A recent paper has been making the social media rounds, that estimates the number of American deaths due to radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing to be between 340,000 and 690,000 between ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Are fossil fuels making the world greener?

The popular understanding (at least among those who are not climate skeptics) of global warming is that it is likely to create environmental catastrophe for reasons such as spreading deserts and ...
2
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2answers
505 views

Do colder temperatures increase our hunger?

I've heard this multiple times as an explanation to eating more in relation to being exposed to colder temperatures (restaurants that are colder, during the winter, etc.) but I have yet to be able to ...
11
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2answers
686 views

Does Ecological taxation work?

From Wikipedia: Ecotax (short for Ecological taxation) refers to taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives. Such a policy can complement or avert ...
32
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1answer
3k views

Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
3
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1answer
708 views

Do electric cars emit half the CO2 as diesel from a life-cycle perspective?

From The Guardian: "On average, electric vehicles will emit half the CO2 emissions of a diesel car by 2030, including the manufacturing emissions,” said Yoann Le Petit, a spokesman for the T&E ...
4
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1answer
307 views

Is air pollution reaching a crisis point?

A recent report by the Lancet Commision on Pollution and Health led to some scary headlines in the news: Pollution linked to one in six deaths Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens '...
20
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2answers
2k views

Is “peak wind” coming?

The concept of "peak oil" has been bandied about for some time (see this question: Is peak oil still set for 2013?) by people who believe the world hydrocarbon stocks will soon be so depleted that ...
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0answers
259 views

Would a full scale Thermonuclear War create centuries of Nuclear Winter? [duplicate]

I see the nuclear winter lots of times in Sci-Fi materials. The Matrix is a famous example. Lots of people believe in this nuclear winter thing. In real world, would a full scale Thermonuclear War ...
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0answers
131 views

Does a personal choice to eat less meat help the environment? [duplicate]

An oft-quoted way to reduce one's Carbon footprint is to eat less meat. I believe there is even a day of meatless meals that is planned, presumably as an awareness campaign, every year. However, I ...
104
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3answers
43k views

Do coal plants release more radiation than nuclear power plants?

As a response to the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant I've heard the claim that fossil-fuel power plants using coal release more radiation than a nuclear power plant. I searched for some ...
18
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1answer
1k views

Is credit card use more environmentally friendly than cash?

A popular organic food store in Amsterdam has this sign posted near the entrance: Welcome! Marqt accepts all credit or debit cards, free of charge. Thank you for contributing to a safer and ...
5
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1answer
530 views

Are Maryland's vehicle emissions tests a net benefit for the environment?

I am skeptical that vehicle emissions programs like Maryland's VEIP are a net win overall. You generate emissions by driving there in the first place, and idling while you wait your turn. Almost all ...
5
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3answers
692 views

Is drinking collected rain water proven to be beneficial for your health?

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. After reading the article ...